Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 21:2
AC 2620. Verse 2. And Sarah conceived and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the appointed time, as God had spoken with him. She "conceived and bare," signifies that it was and came forth; "Sarah bare Abraham," signifies from the unition of the Lord‘s Divine spiritual with His Divine celestial; "a son" signifies the Divine rational; "in his old age," signifies when the days were fulfilled that He should put off the human; "at the appointed time," signifies when the rational was such as to receive; "as God had spoken with him," signifies as He had willed.
AC 2621. That "conceived and bare" signifies that it Was and Came forth, namely the Divine rational, from the unition of the Lord’s Divine spiritual with His Divine celestial, is evident from the signification of "conceiving and bearing." That in the internal sense of the Word no other conceptions and bearings are meant than those which are spiritual and celestial, may be seen above (n. 2584); but here those which were Divine, because the subject here treated of is the Lord‘s rational made Divine; and of Him, namely, the Lord, Being and Coming forth (Esse et Existere) are chiefly predicated; for He alone Is and Comes forth. As regards Being and Coming forth (Esse et Existere) we may add that they seem as if they were nearly the same, but are not the same. Every person and every thing, has its Being from conception, but its Coming forth from birth; and thus, as conception is prior to birth, so Being is prior to Coming forth.
 The soul is the Being itself of man, and the sensitive or corporeal faculty is its Coming forth, for the former comes forth in the latter. Celestial and spiritual love are the very Being of the man who is being regenerated; and the rational and sensitive faculties, when imbued with that love, are his Coming forth. And so it is with each and all things in the universe; for there is nothing whatever which has not its conception that it may be, and its birth that it may come forth; which may also be illustrated in the terms of philosophy by saying that every effect has its cause, and every cause has its end. The end is the Being of the cause, and the cause is the Coming forth of the end. In the same way, the cause is the Being of the effect, and the effect is the Coming forth of the cause.
AC 2622. Sarah to Abraham. That this signifies from the unition of the Divine spiritual with the Divine celestial, is evident from the representation of Sarah, as being the Divine spiritual, or Divine Truth (n. 1468, 1901, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198, 2507); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Divine celestial, or Divine Good (n. 1989, 2011, 2172, 2198, 2501). Concerning the unition of the Divine spiritual with the Divine celestial, see (n. 2618).
AC 2623. A son. That this signifies the Divine rational, is evil dent from the signification of a "son." In the internal sense of the Word a "son" signifies truth (n. 489, 491, 533); and as truth is the chief thing in the rational (n. 2072, 2189), the rational is also signified by a "son;" but here the Divine rational, in which principally there is good, which Isaac, who is the "son," also represents.
AC 2624. In his old age. That this signifies when the days were fulfilled that the human should be put off, is evident from the signification of "old age," as being the state when the human should be put off and the Divine put on (n. 2198); for Abraham was at that time a hundred years old; and by this number is signified a full state of unition, as will be seen in the explication at (verse 5).
AC 2625. At the appointed time. That this signifies when the rational was such as to receive, is evident from the signification of "time." There are two things which while man lives in the world appear to be essential, because they are proper to nature, namely, space and time. Hence to live in space and time is to live in the world or in nature. But in the other life these two things are of no consequence. In the world of spirits indeed they do appear to be of some consequence, for the reason that spirits fresh from the body still retain the idea of natural things; yet it is not long before they perceive that there is no space and time there, but state instead; and that in the other life states correspond to spaces and times in nature; to spaces states as to Being (esse), and to times states as to Coming forth (existere). In regard to space or place see (n. 1274, 1379, 1380, 1382).
 From this anyone can see what kind of an idea a man may have, while in the world or in nature, respecting the things of the other life and many arcana of faith; namely, that he is not willing to believe them until be apprehends them by means of the things in the world, nay, by sensuous things; for he must needs suppose that if he were to put off the idea of space and time, and still more space and time themselves, he would become absolutely nothing; and thus that he would have nothing left from which he could feel and think, except something confused and incomprehensible; when yet the case is exactly the reverse. Angelic life is of such a nature as to be the wisest and happiest of all.
 This is the reason why in the Word "ages" in the internal sense do not signify ages, but states; so that in this verse "old age" does not mean old age. And in the same way the numbers do not signify numbers, but some specific state, as for instance the number a hundred years, concerning which hereafter. From this we can now see that by the "appointed time" is signified the state when the rational was such as to receive.
 In regard to the specific matter here treated of, namely, that the Divine rational was and came forth from the unition of the Divine spiritual with the Divine celestial of the Lord, when the days were fulfilled for the human to be put off, and when the rational was such as to receive (all of which is signified in the internal sense by Sarah’s conceiving and bearing to Abraham a son to his old age at the appointed time), be it known that the human begins in the inmost of the rational (n. 2106, 2194); and that the Lord advanced successively to the union of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence, and of the Divine Essence with the Human Essence (n. 1864, 2033, 2523); and this by His own power (n. 1921, 2025, 2026, 2083), by continual temptations and victories (n. 1737, 1813, 1690), and by continual revelations from His Divine (n. 1616, 2500); and this until at length He had expelled all the maternal human (n. 1414, 1444, 2574); and thus had made His Human Divine in respect to the rational, according to the things contained in this verse. Hence it is manifest what is to be understood by the days being fulfilled for the human to be put off, and by the rational being such as to receive.
 Some idea of this may be formed from what takes place in those who are being regenerated. The celestial things of love and the spiritual things of faith are not at once implanted in them by the Lord, but successively; and when by means of them the man‘s rational has become such that it can receive, then for the first time is he becoming regenerate, for the most part by means of temptations in which he conquers. When these things take place, the days are fulfilled for him to put off the old man, and to put on the new. Concerning man’s regeneration, see (n. 677, 679, 711, 848, 986, 1555, 2475).
AC 2626. As God had spoken with him. That this signifies as He had willed, is evident from the signification of "speaking," as being to think (n. 2271, 2287, 2619); but that here it means to will is because it is said, "as God had spoken;" since for the Divine to think is to will. GENESIS 21:2 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|